Massey College of Business Student Publishes Paper in Issues in Political Economy

Nicholas Arbogast, an economics major in the Jack C. Massey College of Business, recently published a paper in the journal Issues in Political Economy (IPE). In the published article titled “Examining the Effectiveness of Official Development Assistance in Sub-Saharan African Countries,” appearing in the July 2021 issue of the journal, Arbogast noted that the effectiveness of foreign aid to lower income countries has often been thought to be somewhat ambiguous. Though additional funding may help to drive economic development, this may skew wealth distribution in low-income countries and drive political corruption.

In this research, Arbogast investigated the effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 11 Sub-Saharan African countries over a 60-year period (1960-2019). Given the panel structure of the data, a fixed-effects model was used to determine the correlation between ODA and four key development indicators: average life expectancy, gross enrollment ratio at the primary schooling level, agricultural value-added and the age-dependency ratio. After controlling for a number of relevant macroeconomic variables, the findings suggest that higher ODA is associated with statistically significant improvement in all four development indicators. The positive associations may underlie important causal relationships which are critical for further understanding the nexus between the amounts of ODA received and economic development.

Early contributions to the research came from fellow students Grace Collier, Camille Herren and Bogle LaRue during a course in economic growth and development taught by Dr. Colin Cannonier, who also served as research advisor and faculty sponsor. 

Issues in Political Economy (IPE) is the leading undergraduate research journal in economics and is edited by students, with oversight from faculty.  The journal follows a double-blind review process and is indexed in Cabell’s Directory of Publishing Opportunities in Economics and Finance.